The following is our weekly feature article in which we take a look at the week ahead in Thailand and Pattaya news and the top stories to keep an eye on as we move into the next week.
These are chosen by our editorial team and are developing stories that we will follow and encourage our readers to follow over the next week or so. They are not in any particular order of importance.
These developing stories are for the week of January 17th, 2021 to January 23rd, 2021.
1. Pattaya planning on purchasing vaccines for its own residents
One of the biggest local stories of last week was the Pattaya City Mayor stating that he was planning to purchase enough vaccines with the city budgets to vaccinate all permanent Pattaya residents.* (The status of foreign residents is not yet clear.) This is part of a plan to attempt to move forward measures to boost tourism and solve the problems of the last year that have seen the city devastated by lack of foreign tourists and Covid-19 related closure measures. The city is waiting for approval from Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan O’Cha which may come as early as this week. The Pattaya News will also be gathering information as it is revealed on what vaccines are likely to be purchased, how the rollout will take place, and when.
2. Covid-19 situation in Eastern provinces seems to be improving, residents hope restriction measures to be lifted in near future.
The Covid-19 situation in Pattaya that has seen the city suffer a second closure of its world-famous entertainment venues and tourist attractions since March of last year seem to be improving. An initial large cluster in Banglamung from illegal gambling establishments appears to be resolved and a second cluster from a brewery and bar in Si Racha also seems to be coming under control. The Chonburi Governor has stated that he is aware of how difficult the closure measures and transportation-related restrictions are and will lift restrictions when the provincial disease committee and Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration feel the situation has improved. A review of the measures is set to take place by the end of the month (But is not a promise of relief or easing, of course.)
3. Protester groups clash with police, say more protests, Covid-19 or not, likely coming
We will have a full recap of this weekend’s events as well as provide background on small protest groups of pro-democracy protesters who feel that the Lese Majeste laws should be abolished. Several small clashes with police took place on Saturday, January 16th, 2021, and also saw the explosion of a small explosive device. Police continually have warned protesters that even small scale demonstrations are illegal under the current emergency decree to control Covid-19 and will be broken up.
4. Beach expansion work set to begin in Jomtien
Those with keen eyes in Jomtien may have noticed barges offshore with sand from nearby islands and construction workers in the area. The city is waiting for final approval to begin expanding the eroded beach in the Na Jomtien area (near Sattahip) which could begin any day now.
5. Air pollution frustrates residents of Bangkok and Jomtien
The air pollution over the past few days has been, according to comments from readers online, some of the worst they have ever seen. The annual issue seems to be getting worse than better despite continued promises by officials and authorities to stop the problem and get to the root cause (primarily burning of crops around Thailand). It will remain to be seen if a more concrete plan will come forward this week as promised by the Department of Air Pollution.
That is all for this week, thank you as always for reading The Pattaya News.